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Jared Kushner vastly overstated Saudi arms deal in ‘amateur quality’ document: report

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The $110 billion arms deal touted by President Donald Trump as the basis for his strong ties to Saudi Arabia was inflated at the direction of his son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Two U.S. officials and three former White House officials confirmed that Kushner had pushed the State Department and Defense Department to use figures that were aspirational but unlikely, reported ABC News.

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Kushner, a White House senior adviser who is married to Ivanka Trump, reportedly hoped to score a victory for the president’s first foreign trip and symbolically ratify a new alliance with Saudi Arabia.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis supported his effort and endorsed the memorandum of intent, according to a former National Security Council official.

A defense strategy expert who has seen a copy said the letter of intent was “amateurish quality” and remarkably vague.

“It acknowledges it’s not binding,” said the expert, Michael O’Hanlon, of the Brookings Institute.

“It’s a multi-billion dollar transaction with three short lines of information as if that’s meaningful,” he added. “It’s like you’re taking notes on the back of a napkin over dinner. It’s not a contract. It’s the idea of putting all of these numbers in the interest for the biggest number you can find.”

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U.S. officials told Kushner the Saudis realistically had about $15 billion to spend on arms deals, but Kushner pushed NSC officials to “sell them as much as possible.”

“They were asking us to put as much pressure on the Saudis as we could [to buy American arms],” said one former NSC official. “It was definitely being pushed on the Pentagon people to see what was possible with the Saudis.”

Trump has cited the arms deal as a reason he sided with Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is close to Kushner, in an investigation into his alleged order to assassinate journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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“These details raise even more questions about what is really driving the Trump administration’s refusal to crack down on Saudi Arabia’s behavior,” said Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

“If Jared Kushner inflated the size of this arms deal, we need to figure out why,” the lawmaker added. “Congress should get to the bottom of this and work to impose stronger sanctions on the Saudi regime, thoroughly review our relations with Riyadh, and cut off assistance for Saudi efforts in Yemen that have created a massive humanitarian crisis.”

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Trump’s attacks on Biden’s mental fitness just draw attention to his own problems: Joy Reid panel

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MSNBC host Joy Reid gave some helpful advice to President Donald Trump and his children, who frequently attack former Vice President Joe Biden for his mental health: It makes you look worse.

Speaking to her closing Wednesday panel with Jason Johnson and Howard Fineman, Reid showed a super-cut of Trump's knack for getting words wrong, not knowing how to pronounce simple things, slurring his words, stumbling down the stairs, not knowing where to go, dragging his feet and more.

"Well, you know, my pretext for all my students this fall will be: person, woman, man, camera, tv, and if they can do that, I know they're at least as smart as the president," joked Johnson. "Here's the thing. Joe Biden demonstrated that he literally can ride a bike and do something else at the same time. Like, I have always thought the argument that Joe Biden has lost a step or has some sort of mental deficiency was a complete lie. It's Republicans just projecting. What's important to remember is that no matter how much they spout this nonsense, every single time Donald Trump opens his mouth, he looks worse. There is nothing Joe Biden can say that is more foolish or incoherent than Donald Trump in the middle of a substantive interview."

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Here’s how Trump’s ‘nasty’ jab at Kamala reveals his misunderstanding of women

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President Donald Trump has reprised one of his most common attacks on women — "nasty" — to describe Joe Biden's running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA).

On Wednesday, writing for The New York Times, Katie Rogers broke down how the president's continual attacks on women in politics — combined with his characterization of women voters — reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of modern gender norms.

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Congresswoman criticizes Republican press guy for claim Black folks don’t care about Kamala Harris: Does he know any?

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Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) hilariously mocked former press secretary Ari Fleischer, who worked for former President George W. Bush's White House. Fleischer claimed Black people won't be that excited about Sen. Kamala Harris on the ticket.

"She's just not that historically exciting to African-Americans," said Fleischer speaking to Laura Ingraham during a Fox News appearance after the announcement.

During a conversation with MSNBC's Joy Reid, the host called Fleischer "a sort of a bygone era Republican voice" and asked Bass to listen to his comments.

"I wonder how many African-Americans," asked Bass, chuckling.

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